Drunk, tired truck drivers involved in accidents
DELHI: Every year, trucks are involved in over 3,000 accidents
on Delhi roads and claim over 800 lives. They alone are responsible
for 50 per cent of lives lost in road accidents annually. The
Supreme Court — in its December 6, 2001, order — had
observed that trucks not headed for Delhi should not be allowed
to enter the city.
Satish Golchha, deputy commissioner of police (traffic). ‘‘The
movement of these trucks should be streamlined to reduce traffic
congestion in the city,’’ he said. About 60,000 trucks,
which enter the city every day, are responsible for half the total
number of accident victims here. ‘‘Most of the hit-and-run
cases, especially at night, are due to trucks, since they frequent
the roads at that time,’’ said Arun Kampani, deputy
commissioner of police (New Delhi range), traffic.
the trucks have maintained their deadly record for the past 12
years. ‘‘Trucks passing through the city at night
are usually driven by cleaner or helpers, who are not used to
driving on city roads. So they make mistakes and kill people,’’
says Gautam Chatterjee, who authors road safety literature for
the traffic police. Last year, trucks and unknown vehicles (read
trucks) killed 870 people and injured 2,414 in the city. They
accounted for 3,140 road accidents as well. This year, till May
31, trucks have already caused 1,276 mishaps claiming 362 lives
and injuring 1,000. ‘‘These trucks are usually overloaded
and drivers have scant regard for traffic rules at night,’’
says Chatterjee. Also, the drivers use different driving rules
than the ones used in the city. ‘‘They use their right
indicator to convey to a trailing vehicle to overtake.
the right indicator for us would mean the truck wants to turn
right. This leads to confusion that can be dangerous,’’
he said. Also, most of the time, drivers are drunk. ‘‘They
are stressed and often under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
This causes many of the accidents,’’ said joint commissioner
of police (traffic) Maxwell Pereira.
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